Elon Musk recently purchased the social media platform Twitter. He claims that he did so to protect freedom of expression on the platform. However, yesterday he banned a number of journalists and Mastodon, which is a free and open-source software used for creating and hosting social networking services. For those who are not familiar with the process, let’s summarize first.
Elonjet account and many journalist accounts banned
The Twitter account “ElonJet,” which tracks and shares the movements of Elon Musk’s private jet in real-time, has been banned. The person running the account has also been banned from Twitter. Musk had previously stated that he supports free speech, including allowing the ElonJet account to continue even though it posed a personal safety risk to him. However, the account was ultimately banned for violating Twitter’s community guidelines, which have since been updated.
Elon Musk, who often says he bought Twitter to ensure “freedom of expression”, also restricted the freedom of expression of many journalists last night. The accounts of journalists reporting on Elon Musk and Twitter, including Ryan Mac of The New York Times, Donie O’Sullivan of CNN, Drew Harwell of The Washington Post, Micha Lee of The Intercept, Matt Binder, Aaron Rupar and Tony Webster of Mashable, were suspended without warning last night. It was reported that the reason behind these bans was the posts made to follow Elon Musk’s plane.
Because after the Elonjet account was banned, many alternatives emerged in this regard. Journalists started sharing them on their personal accounts. Last night, in addition to all this, a Mastodon ban started on the platform. The official Twitter account of Mastodon, an alternative social media channel to Twitter, was blocked.
Musk then launched two different surveys about lifting the ban. He did not accept the first survey he launched because the votes were close. When the result of the other survey was clearer, he announced that he lifted the bans on journalists and some other people. In addition, Mastodon’s account was reactivated.